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  • Does it summarise the main idea of my proposed research in an exciting way in no less than10- 15 words?
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Improving Interpersonal Relationships in an organization

In any environment that involves individuals working as a collective unit, interpersonal interactions become necessary which allows collaborative efforts and helps the unit to function as a team. The interpersonal relations act as one of the core aspects of an organization and essential component of team performance. However, the interaction can also lead to interpersonal conflicts caused by dissonance of opinions, ideas, motivations and values. These conflicts can have negative effects on the performance and productivity of the individuals as well as the team, as it can increase stress among project management students, in an organization conflicts can reduce job satisfaction and student retention rates, it can increase the risks of workplace violence and result in the wastage of resources as well as time (Gilin Oore et al. 2015). The conflicts can be also caused because of communication gaps or barriers, limitation of organizational resources, incompatibility among individual goals, interdependence of duties among the workers as well as differences among individual personalities. It is therefore important to develop effective conflict management strategies to prevent the adverse effects of the interpersonal conflicts on the performance of project management students, teams and the organization (Islam and Karim 2017).

The aim of this study is to analyze the significance of interpersonal conflict management among project management students through a review of literature. For this purpose, key journal articles are researched to identify the important aspects of conflict management and how it can help to improve the performance of the organization as well as students.

Discussed below are the important aspects that were identified through key journal articles, using a qualitative analysis of literature.

Studies show that effective conflict management can help to improve interpersonal relations amonf project management students by reducing or overcoming the personal differences that causes the conflict. Conflict management helps to bridge communication caps and differences in opinions and perspectives thereby fostering an improvement in interpersonal relations in an organization (McKenzie 2015). Moreover, managing conflicts helps to address the dissonance in personal goals and objectives, devise solutions to overcome them in future situations. A manager or an organizational leader can play a pivotal role in conflict management, helping students to overcome the personal differences that precedes or ensues a conflict scenario, and thus help to improve interpersonal relations in the organization and foster cohesion among people. Conflict management can also help to contain and quarantine the adverse effects of conflicts and prevent it from spreading across the organization and instead develop coordination between people to overcome or prevent future conflict scenarios. Authors suggest that conflict management also helps to develop mutual respect towards each other in a workplace, help individual to respect differences in personalities or personal opinions and helps to improve appreciation of workplace diversity (Leon-Perez et al. 2015). These aspects clearly shows that through effective interpersonal conflict management the relations between people in an organization can be improved and conflict managers as well as organizational leaders can help to develop a cohesive workforce based on the values of mutual respect and understanding and supported be effective communication strategies.

Reducing work stress

Several studies show that interpersonal conflicts in workplace can increase a sense of stress and anxiety among individuals and reduce satisfaction towards jobs (Sonnentag and Fritz 2015; Theorell et al. 2015; Rispens and Demerouti 2016). Personal disagreements between individuals can often escalate to interpersonal conflicts, and such conflicts can let to the individuals involved in the conflict to be aggravated causing stress and anxiety. It has been suggested by authors that stressors such as individual stressors, group stressors, organizational stressors, and extra organizational stressors can contribute to job stress experienced by individuals in an organization (Demerouti 2016). Moreover, interpersonal conflicts can cause an increase in the group stressors, thereby mediating job stress among  students. Relation between job stress and job satisfaction have been studied by many authors, with the common conclusion that work stress can reduce the level of job satisfaction among the project management students and also reduce the  student turnover and  student retention (Bliese et al. 2017). Effective conflict management helps project management students to overcome the stress caused due to interpersonal conflicts, allowing the source of the conflict to be identified and addressed in order to resolve the conflict (Theorell et al. 2015). Thus, by resolving the conflict, the group stressor on individuals can be overcome or averted thereby alleviating stress and anxiety among the project management students and thus helping to improve the overall job satisfaction. Other studies suggest that by resolving conflicts, the cohesion among project management students can improve, reduce the chances of escalation or spread of the conflicts, prevent risks of workplace violence and also help to promote a positive workplace environment that is based on respect, all of which helps to improve job satisfaction among the project management students and improve  student retention and turnover (Sonnentag and Fritz 2015).

It has been pointed out that one of the biggest contributors of organizational violence is interpersonal conflicts in an organization, followed by job stress. Behaviors such as aggression and bullying in a organization can be caused due to escalation of interpersonal conflicts. Studies by Jerng et al. (2017) show that interpersonal conflicts in healthcare organization significantly increased the risks of organizational violence and safety related incidents for both the healthcare workers as well as patients. The studies also slowed that the interpersonal conflicts were mostly  cause because of personal disagreements, interferences and negative emotions of the project management students and affected the interpersonal relationships between healthcare professionals. Such inferences have also been supported by studies by Ramely and Ahmad. (2017) which showed interpersonal conflict are a significant organizational stressor and can also increase the incidence of bullying within the organizational.  Additionally, the incidents of aggression and violence in organization can jeopardize the health and wellbeing of the project management students, increase stress and anxiety and increase the risks of stress related long term health conditions such as insomnia and hypertension (Arnetz et al. 2015). Therefore managing organizational interpersonal conflicts is one of the most significant strategies to prevent violence and aggression and thus helps to overcome these organizational and group stressors on the mental and physical wellbeing of the project management students. Strategies to improve communication, cohesiveness, understanding and respect among people in a organization thus also helps to prevent the incidence of bullying and aggression, since it helps to develop an environment where everyone respects each other and differences in personal opinions, views and perspectives (Spector et al. 2015; Yragui et al. 2017).

Reducing the risks of violence

One of the biggest strategies for managing interpersonal conflicts is to overcome barriers and gaps in communication. Conflict managers often have to identify strategies that can best allow improving communication among individuals in order to foster an understanding about each others perspectives, expectations and opinions and identifying the causes of the personal differences. Developing an effective system of communication thus helps to improve sharing of information and ideas in a more effective manner and thus avoid interpersonal conflicts (Hamblin et al. 2015). Thus effective conflict management helps to overcome barriers in communication among the project management students. This has been supported by studies that show communication barriers and communication gaps being one of the biggest source of interpersonal conflicts. According to Almutairi (2015), differences in culture and language are one of the biggest contributors of communication barriers in an organization. These differences can lead to conflicts of interests, motivations, expectations and perspectives thus causing interpersonal conflicts. Cupach (2014) opined that communication skills are one of the most significant skill that needs to be possessed by individuals engaged in conflict management and conflict mitigation. According to the author, conflict communication not only influence understanding of individuals competencies but also helps to achieve a rational outcome from conflict management practices. Oetzel (2017) also supported such ideas, stating that effective interpersonal conflict management helps to improve intercultural communication and thus overcome communication barriers within the organization. Thus it clearly shows the important role played by conflict management in the development of effective communication within the organization and also overcome barriers or gaps in communication in order to prevent or reduce the incidence of organization conflicts (Hanson et al. 2015).

Through effective organizational conflict management, a positive environment can be developed in a organization by instilling the values or respect towards organizational diversity, differences in personal opinions and values and supported by better communication, collaboration and interpersonal support from project management students. Conflict management also helps to prevent incidence of organizational violence, aggression and bullying, reduce stress and anxiety among project management students and help to support better performance of the  students and the organization, thereby helping to promote an environment of productivity and positivity where individuals are able to set aside their personal differences and work towards the achievement of organizational objectives and also their professional development and growth in the organization (Arnetz et al. 2015). By supporting better communication between  students, fostering cohesiveness and by helping to develop and maintain a culturally diverse organization, effective conflict management plays an important role in the development of a positive and safe organizational environment for everyone. According to Prause and Mujtaba (2015), conflict management helps to promote diversity in organization and helps to manage work related stress and improve the efficiency of the  students through the development of better interpersonal and organizational relationships among individuals. These organizational relations further helps to maintain sense of mutual respect between people, which is essential for the development of a positive work culture. Helms and Oliver (2015) additionally suggested that conflict management strategies help to promote a change in the organizational or institutional environment and overcome polarization among  students. Such aspects clearly support the fact the through effective conflict management an environment of positivity can develp within an organization which further help to mitigate the risks of future interpersonal conflicts (Arnetz et al. 2015).

Strategies for managing interpersonal conflicts

Studies on the different values on which conflict resolution strategies are developed show that values such as mutual respect, empowerment, participation, equality, justice, non-violence and individual/organization transformation are central to effective conflict management activities. According to Abiodun (2014), conflict management helps to instill the values of respect towards all  students and each other, respect towards organizational diversity as well as to the views and perspectives of others within the organization, which helps individuals to overcome their personal differences that causes the interpersonal conflicts. Also, conflict management can help to promote equality and justice in the organizational environment, by ensuring that no-one in the organization gets discriminated, ostracized or are victimized to bullying or aggressive behavior. Conflict management also ensures that individuals are held accountable for their actions and behavior, and helps to uphold the important values that help to develop and maintain positive organizational environment and culture. Such aspects also help to promote equality among everyone, and prevent resentments in the organization. Additionally, through the prevention of violence and aggression in organizations, conflict management strategies ensure the maintenance of a non-violent organizations. Moreover, in a organization where the incidence of interpersonal conflicts is high, effective conflict management strategies can help to bring about transformations in the organization as well the the individuals and teams in a way to promote the core values of conflict management practices and pave the way to develop a cohesive and collaborative team (Kelly et al. 2014).


Organizational conflicts can be a common place where several individuals are involved in working together, in collaboration, such as in organizations, and these conflicts can result in a reduction in the performance and productivity of the individuals and of the organization. The conflicts can be caused due to differences in opinions, perspectives, values, opinions and personalities, and due to ineffective communication between people. Conflict management is therefore necessary in an organization to prevent the adverse effect of these conflicts. Through a review of literature, several important significances of conflict management were identified. The most important aspects of conflict management includes: an improvement in interpersonal relationships (and work relations) in the organization, reducing job stress (and thus improving work satisfaction and  student retention/turnover), reducing the risks of organizational violence (and thus avoiding safety incidents, bullying and aggression in organizational), overcoming barriers in communication (through the implementation of effective communication strategies), fostering a positive organizational environment (by supporting mutual respect, equality, cohesion, coordination, organizational diversity and productivity) and uphold the values of equality, justice, respect and non violence in organizations. Such aspects clearly demonstrate the significance of interpersonal conflict management in a organizations.


Abiodun, A.R., 2014. Organizational conflicts: causes, effects and remedies. International Journal of Academic Research in Economics and Management Sciences, 3(6), p.118.

Almutairi, K.M., 2015. Culture and language differences as a barrier to provision of quality care by the health workforce in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Medical Journal, 36(4), p.425.

Arnetz, J.E., Hamblin, L., Ager, J., Luborsky, M., Upfal, M.J., Russell, J. and Essenmacher, L., 2015. Underreporting of workplace violence: Comparison of self-report and actual documentation of hospital incidents. Workplace health & safety, 63(5), pp.200-210.


Arnetz, J.E., Hamblin, L., Essenmacher, L., Upfal, M.J., Ager, J. and Luborsky, M., 2015. Understanding patient?to?worker violence in hospitals: a qualitative analysis of documented incident reports. Journal of advanced nursing, 71(2), pp.338-348.

Bliese, P.D., Edwards, J.R. and Sonnentag, S., 2017. Stress and well-being at work: A century of empirical trends reflecting theoretical and societal influences. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), p.389.

Cupach, W.R., 2015. 14 Communication competence in the management of conflict. Communication competence, 22, p.341.

Gilin Oore, D., Leiter, M.P. and LeBlanc, D.E., 2015. Individual and organizational factors promoting successful responses to workplace conflict. Canadian Psychology/psychologie canadienne, 56(3), p.301.

Hamblin, L.E., Essenmacher, L., Upfal, M.J., Russell, J., Luborsky, M., Ager, J. and Arnetz, J.E., 2015. Catalysts of worker?to?worker violence and incivility in hospitals. Journal of clinical nursing, 24(17-18), pp.2458-2467.

Hanson, G.C., Perrin, N.A., Moss, H., Laharnar, N. and Glass, N., 2015. Workplace violence against homecare workers and its relationship with workers health outcomes: a cross-sectional study. BMC public health, 15(1), p.11.

Helms, W.S. and Oliver, C., 2015. Radical settlements to conflict: Conflict management and its implications for institutional change. Journal of Management & Organization, 21(4), pp.471-494.

Islam, M.K. and Karim, R., 2017. Causes and Effects of Workplace Conflict in Midland Bank Ltd: A Case Study on Dhanmondi Branch. International Journal of Business and Management, 1(1).

Jerng, J.S., Huang, S.F., Liang, H.W., Chen, L.C., Lin, C.K., Huang, H.F., Hsieh, M.Y. and Sun, J.S., 2017. Workplace interpersonal conflicts among the healthcare workers: Retrospective exploration from the institutional incident reporting system of a university-affiliated medical center. PloS one, 12(2), p.e0171696.

Kelly, E.L., Moen, P., Oakes, J.M., Fan, W., Okechukwu, C., Davis, K.D., Hammer, L.B., Kossek, E.E., King, R.B., Hanson, G.C. and Mierzwa, F., 2014. Changing work and work-family conflict: Evidence from the work, family, and health network. American Sociological Review, 79(3), pp.485-516.

Leon-Perez, J.M., Medina, F.J., Arenas, A. and Munduate, L., 2015. The relationship between interpersonal conflict and workplace bullying. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 30(3), pp.250-263.

McKenzie, D.M., 2015. The role of mediation in resolving workplace relationship conflict. International journal of law and psychiatry, 39, pp.52-59.

Oetzel, J.G., 2017. Effective intercultural workgroup communication theory. The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication, pp.1-5.

Prause, D. and Mujtaba, B.G., 2015. Conflict management practices for diverse workplaces. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 6(3), p.13.

Ramely, A.B. and Ahmad, Y., 2017. Attributors of Workplace Bullying: Cleaning Workforces’ Perspective. Journal of Administrative Science Special Edition: Socio-Economic Issue, 14(3).

Rispens, S. and Demerouti, E., 2016. Conflict at work, negative emotions, and performance: A diary study. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 9(2), pp.103-119.

Sonnentag, S. and Fritz, C., 2015. Recovery from job stress: The stressor?detachment model as an integrative framework. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(S1), pp.S72-S103.

Spector, P.E., Yang, L.Q. and Zhou, Z.E., 2015. A longitudinal investigation of the role of violence prevention climate in exposure to workplace physical violence and verbal abuse. Work & Stress, 29(4), pp.325-340.

Theorell, T., Hammarström, A., Aronsson, G., Bendz, L.T., Grape, T., Hogstedt, C., Marteinsdottir, I., Skoog, I. and Hall, C., 2015. A systematic review including meta-analysis of work environment and depressive symptoms. BMC public health, 15(1), p.738.

Yragui, N.L., Demsky, C.A., Hammer, L.B., Van Dyck, S. and Neradilek, M.B., 2017. Linking workplace aggression to employee well-being and work: The moderating role of family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB). Journal of business and psychology, 32(2), pp.179-196.

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